August 4, 2014

8/4/14 - MTC Week 9 {Last MTC Email}

Well peeps, this is my last email here in the MTC. I am off to Thailand in a couple hours! I can't believe it is actually time! This past week has been a good one.  Thinking about leaving my district makes me sad though. They have become my family these past 2 months. They are always making me laugh and cheering me up.  We have so much fun together.  I am so glad that I had the opportunity to learn and grow with them. They have all taught me so much. I am so grateful for each and every one of them! Sister Alley has taught me the act of selfless service. She is always helping everyone with everything, we call her “the mom”. Sister Pitts has taught me how to not be afraid to share what you believe. She has so many good insights and shares them with all. Sister Mamea has taught me how to laugh and have fun through hard times. Whenever we talk she is always making me laugh which makes me forget the hard things. Sister Peck is a sweet angel. She has taught me how to make a person feel loved and cared for. She is always so nice to me and I can truly feel her love. Sister Nethercott has taught me how to truly listen to other people and how to be interested in others. Sisters Zoller has taught me how to be diligent at speaking Thai. She is so good at it and I learn so much from her. Sister Brown has taught me the act of truly loving and caring for others. She is always sharing her love with others. Elder Hinkson has taught me how to be a bold missionary. He is so good at speaking with such boldness which missionaries need. Elder Curtis has taught me how to care for people. He is always checking up with everyone asking how they are doing and you can tell he genuinely cares. Elder Okimoto has taught me how to push through tough trials. He is so good at being patient with the Lord and waiting to get answers. Elder Hilton has taught me how to see things with a pure spirit. He is so good and innocent which really invites the spirit. Elder Williams has taught me how to be a good leader. He has been district leader and is always willing to help us and being a great leader. Elder Luker has taught me how to rely on faith. When he came out here he was coming all on faith. His faith inspires me to be more faithful. My district is amazing!!!

This week we had to say a lot of goodbyes. On Monday we said goodbye to Brother Thrap. When we first got to class he started telling us a story about school then all of a sudden he bursts into song and dance, singing "Let it Go"!!!! He got really into it and we were all shocked and dying laughing the whole time! It was so funny because we have asked him to sing that song in Thai before but he never would.  What we didn't know was that he was saving it for the last day! It probably made my whole week!! At the end of class brother Thrap bore his testimony which was really powerful. I could feel the spirit really strong. We all sat there in silence for a couple minutes taking it all in. Everyone was crying saying goodbye. A couple days later we had to say goodbye to Sister Stoleworthy, Brother Shipley and Brother Sanders. Lastly, we had to say goodbye to sister Hirschi. We had a testimony meeting in Thai and got all our tears out. WOW, I am so grateful to have had them as teachers. They have been like my parents for the past 9 weeks. They have taught me so much about not only the language but how to be a better missionary and better person. I will be forever grateful for all of their love and help. I am going to miss my teachers. This whole week we have been really trying to SYL as much as possible. We said goodbye to our investigator Pl))y who committed to baptism! In class our teachers showed us pictures of the real Pl))y and N))n and their real conversion stories.

For devotional, we had the guy from “The Other Side of Heaven” - John Groberg. It was seriously so amazing! He talked about different ways you can share your testimony. There are so many more ways then just saying it. You share your testimony by the way you live your life, you can share it by writing it, or singing it!! For each way that he talked about sharing testimony he shared an example from the life of Jesus Christ. It made me realize that Christ is the perfect example and we can look to him as an example in everything we do.

Since I was sick last Friday, Saturday and Sunday I didn't get much time for personal study and let me just tell you how much I NEED my person study! I can tell a huge difference when I don't read my scriptures. Not getting the chance to read them for a couple days made me realize how much I LOVE them! I started in second Nephi chapter 7. I love in verse 11 how it says, "walk in the light of your own fire". I just love the wording of this scripture. To me this means that we need to gain our own testimony and not just rely on our parents’ testimonies. Chapter 9 was AMAZING! It is a perfect scripture for investigators about the plan of salvation. I love in verse 10 how it says, "O how great the goodness of our God, who prepareth a way." I am so grateful for the plan of happiness. In the previous verses it talks about how horrible it would be without the plan. I love this whole chapter and could go on and on talking about all the different things that I learned from it but I don't have that much time! The last thing that I will mention is in verse 48 it says, "it must needs be expedient that I teach you the consequence of sin" and, “the things of the scriptures should not be taken lightly, for God will executeth all his words" (verse 17). Everything in the scriptures will be fulfilled so we must use them to guide our lives. I think it is so interesting how there are so many times where it talks about the details of Christ coming when it had not happened yet. It is another witness that it is all true. In Chapter 10 verse 24 it talks about how we need to reconcile ourselves to the will of God and once we do that only through the grace of God we can be saved. Once we say, "thy will be done", we can't just expect it to be easy and all work out. I have figured out that the will of God is sometimes something we don't want and something that is really hard. When ever I think of this I think of my sister Caitlin when she had Quinn. She didn't want her pregnancy to be that way but she knew God had a plan. It wasn't easy for her to accept and agree with that “will of God”, to be honest she probably wanted the opposite of God's will at the time. As she prayed asking for help and peace and comfort, and trusting in God, she started to accept the will of God and his plan. We have to use the grace of God to be able to actually desire and trust the will of God. I love this quote from Elder Scott, "It is so hard when sincere prayer about something we desire very much is not answered the way we want. It is especially difficult when the Lord answers “no”, to that which is worthy and would give us great joy and happiness.....When you face adversity, you can be led to ask many questions. Some serve a useful purpose; others do not. To ask, Why does this have to happen to me? Why do I have to suffer this, now? What have I done to cause this?--will lead you into blind alleys. It really does no good to ask questions that reflect opposition to the will of God. Rather ask, What am I to do? What am I to learn from this experience? What am I to change? Whom am I to help? How can I remember my many blessings in times of trial? Willing sacrifice of deeply held personal desires in favor of the will of God is very HARD to do. Yet, when you pray with real conviction, “Please let me know Thy will” and “May Thy will be done,” you are in the strongest position to receive the maximum help from your loving Father." (Trust in the Lord by Richard G Scott) Having used this principle I have learned so much. Sometimes when we don't understand the will of God we have to trust him and work hard at lining up our will with his.

I read through all the Isaiah chapters (the ones I usually skip) and it was actually really interesting. My favorite one was in chapter 15. After all these horrible things that happened and murders and scary stuff it says, "For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still" (verse 25). No matter what we do God's hand will always be stretched out still.

On Friday we had IN FIELD ORIENTATION!  Our district was the only district that had been in the MTC for 9 weeks. Everyone else was “2-weekers”. We talked a lot about how it is so important to involve members in the work. We also talked about how we need to have high expectations to baptize and teach. We need to go in expecting to talk to everyone and baptize everyone. I am glad that I heard this because a lot of times I am prone to lower my expectations so that I won't ever get disappointed. Before the mission I would tell myself, "when I first get there my comp. will do all the talking."  Now I am telling myself, "I am going to talk to everyone!!" This work is the most important in the world. The way we go about it and our attitude about it will determine how our mission will play out. At the end of orientation there was a play about missionary work and my district was cracking up laughing the whole time and everyone was staring at us like we were crazy. That is what the MTC does to you, haha.  On Sunday we sang our song as a district in sacrament and had testimony meeting. At temple walk Spencer and Chase decided to show up!! It was really good to see them before leaving! I am going to miss Provo especially the temple. We did our last session this morning for 16 months. It was sad but comforting to spend my last day in America at the temple!!

Well I just want to end with my testimony. I love Jesus Christ. He is my Savior and my best friend. He is the perfect example. I will always strive to become more and more like him. I know he has a specific plan for me that will benefit me in the long run. I know that through the atonement we can have our weaknesses become strengths. My love for the Book of Mormon has grown more than ever these past two months. I love it with all my heart. It brings so much happiness and has every answer to every question. Prayer over these past 2 months has become so essential to everything that I am and do. I have learned how to pray with all my soul, “to cry unto the lord".  I have learned how to truly rely on Christ. I have learned how he communicates with me and how I feel the Spirit. All these things I have had my whole life but never this intense. I am so grateful for the gospel and the opportunity I have to take it to Thailand. Life doesn't get much better than sharing the Gospel:) Peace and blessings everyone!!!

- Sister Herrmann
P.S. Once I get to Thailand my emails are not going to be this long and detailed!

We love Elder Luker! 
Wear PINK Wednesdays
Brother THRAP!
Zone Prayer
Sister Stoleworthy
Sister Hirschi
Sister Pennrod (Branch President's Wife)
Canto Sisters
Sister Grover from the other Thai District
My brothers, Chase & Spencer
Our district! 
Thailand here we come! 

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